Burger King Grills Up the Big Mac Slayer: Big Mac vs. the “Big King”

“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun!”

This jingle first hit the airwaves in the 1970’s and has been dancing around the minds of fast-food junkies ever since. When you hear those words there is only one thing that should come to mind…McDonald’s Big Mac! The Big Mac is arguably the most famous item for sale at the most popular fast food restaurant in the world. It sits atop the McDonald’s menu as the #1 Value Meal. It has cemented its spot in the Fast Food Hall of Fame (just kidding; there sadly isn’t an official Hall of Fame…yet).  However, there is a challenger for the burger crown that has re-entered the arena using the same “Big Mac” formula…

Burger King’s Big King!

The Big King was initially released in 1993 under the name “Double Supreme Cheeseburger” and was made nearly identical to the Big Mac, missing only the signature middle bun. Over the years this burger has been on and off the menu and has picked up that essential third piece of bread along the way. Now, for the first time in ten years Burger King has re-released the Big King. Initial word from Burger King is that the item is only available for a limited time, but rumors are already swirling that the Big King is here to stay.

The Big King sandwich sells for $3.49 as an individual item, and my location sells the small combo meal for $5.69. When I got the sandwich I did a little digging to make sure that all the Big Mac pieces I have grown to love were present in this attempted clone. Sure enough, I came across the two all-beef patties, special sauce (appropriately called “King Sauce”), lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun. I did notice one difference though before I took my first bite, BK uses less “sauce” on their king of burgers. Over the years, McDonald’s has developed a bit of a heavy hand when it comes to slathering the sauce on their Big Mac. I often find my sandwich falling apart before I take a bite, bun moist with sauce seeping through my hungry fingers. The quality of the Big Mac has been on a gradual decline as a result, and the sandwich is now oftentimes a mere shell of what it once was. The Big Mac once demanded respect, and rightfully so. But it’s time of glory has come and gone.

The Big King, on the other hand, held together throughout my meal mainly due to the modest amount of King Sauce on the burger and respectable structural integrity in the design and construction of this masterpiece.

The other big difference between the the Mac and King are the patties themselves. Burger King is famous for flame-grilling their burgers and they stand by that promise with their marketing slogan “Try the Fire-Grilled Difference!” As obvious as that catchphrase may be, it rings true when you start diving into the burger. There is a clear distinction between the burgers at McDonald’s and those at Burger King. The traditional fire-grilling style at Burger King helps them deliver an item that closer resembles the type of burger you would get at a backyard barbecue. So, while BK has clearly tried to duplicate the Big Mac they have successfully differentiated their item by providing a superior set of beef patties and adjusting the sauce-to-sandwich ratio.

They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. If that is true then McDonald’s is surely lounging in the glow of Burger King’s admiration. After my meal I tried to compare the two and I can honestly say that I enjoyed my first Big King more than my most recent Big Mac. However, whether the Big King is here for a limited time or for a longer stay really won’t make much of a difference to McDonald’s. The Big Mac has been a legend for almost 40 years and holds a special place in the hearts of consumers. I’m confident that this allegiance will allow the Big Mac to hold off any sort of media buzz the Big King may receive. Competition is always a good thing, and hopefully this new “Big Burger Rivalry” will motivate McDonald’s to clean up their Big Mac production and bring it back to its original glory.

So what do you think? Has The Big King taken the throne of the fast food big burger king? Let us know in the comments section below!